Double feature: These two films are essentially mirror images of each other. Their plots are the same – a worldly schemer attempts a romantic con on a wealthy but naive amateur biologist; a series of witty, swanky hijinks ensue. But in “A New Leaf” the “mark” is female, whereas “The Lady Eve” reverses the gender assignment –and that makes all the difference.
Watching these movies together allows for a consideration of how different obliviousness and venality can look depending on the gender exhibiting them. The pairing also allows for a lesson in how differently viewers can respond to the same scenario, depending on which gender is holding the cards / doing the scheming.
For a marathon: Another pairing of two mirror-narratives with swapped genders (and thus, potentially, varying levels of uneasiness engendered in viewers)? “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.”
Want more snap and early 20th century swankiness after “The Lady Eve”? Follow it up with the even earlier, even swankier “Trouble in Paradise.” The semi-recent adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing” also has a similar sophisticated allure.
(Creative Commons licensed original images courtesy of “interchangeable parts” and “Meni’s Style and A S O!” at Flickr)